In a bid to carve out a niche in the African beauty market, cosmetics company Afya Organics Pty is using 100 percent natural and organic African ingredients to target black women in Kenya.
Speaking to AFK Insider, company founder and CEO Mwiti Read says, “I think one of the main misconceptions about doing business in Africa is that it is a “simple” market and that consumer spending is limited to basics. What we found in a business research trip we took earlier in 2015, is that Africans are demanding more diverse products and in the skincare category, are desperate for high quality, natural and organic products. Just like myself, they’re concerned with issues such as holistic health, the environment, sustainability and social responsibility and companies doing business in Africa who ignore these factors do it at their own peril.”
Read has focused on a brand story of an African heritage, something she assures is well received by the consumer. The ingredients are indigenous to Africa and the products are manufactured to a high standard – from the manufacturing process to the ISO International organic and natural standards and certification, to the ‘packaging design that was devised by our awesome design partners in Sydney.’
Indeed, suggesting that the African consumer is increasingly sophisticated in their tastes, Read states that it has created a ‘bold and aggressive marketplace’. One which, she says, has created a fantastic opportunity for them.
However, as awareness of the market grows, and consumers become increasingly savvy about their beauty products and, more importantly, what’s inside them, Read and her successful company will face more and more competitors. As she’s all too aware. “We’re very aware though, that as African economies continue to grow, competition will only intensify so we intend to solidify our stake, focus on high quality products and keep telling our brand story. It’s this consistency we believe that will help us win the race.”